Skip to comments.Certain Dry Foods Are Good Past Their Best-before Date, Food Scientists Say
Posted on 01/13/2008 2:47:05 PM PST by blam
Certain Dry Foods Are Good Past Their Best-before Date, Food Scientists Say
February 1, 2007 Some low-moisture foods such as dried apples can be safe to eat even years after their expiration date, if properly stored, food chemists say. They verified this in a tasting experiment of 28-year-old rolled oats. Heat, moisture and light can degrade food's nutritional value.
The next time you find forgotten food in the pantry, don't just toss it. Keeping food past its expiration date may not seem like a good idea, but certain foods last a lot longer than you think -- years longer.
Food scientists now know that, when properly sealed, some dried food that's been sitting on shelves for years, could still be OK to eat.
"It lasts a lot longer than we thought," Oscar Pike a food scientist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, tells DBIS.
That's good news for Leslie Probert, who joins the rising number of people stockpiling food for emergencies. "I'm just writing the date on these cans so that I can remember when they were purchased," she says. "This is a year's supply of food for a family of five."
Scientists have known certain foods like sugar and salt can be stored indefinitely, but wanted to learn the shelf life of other food like dried apples -- stored since 1973 -- tried by taste testers.
"I like to call it the emergency shelf life of the food, food that you'd still be willing to eat in an emergency," Pike says. "It's not as though it were freshly canned, but it's certainly edible."
He says the best foods to store are low in moisture, like wheat and powered milk. But keep all foods away from heat and light to stop it from going stale and losing nutritional value. "All the foods that we've tested have been stored at room temperature or below, so you want to avoid attic and garage storage."
In the study, researchers taste-tested rolled oats that had been stored in sealed containers for 28 years. Three-fourths of tasters considered the oats acceptable to eat in an emergency.
And in other news, water is wet, and a bright light will be sighted in the eastern sky sometime this morning.
Good to know but I’m not sure I want to test my luck. :)
Dry foods can be stored for a very long time but they must be stored airtight. Bugs will get into them eventually if not sealed.
No dear...That's emergency food...
Sounds pretty stupid from here.
Fruit cake studies caused this assertion no doubt.
Natural foods went bad more predictably and eating them gave you an upset stomach at the most.
With preservatives and animal antibiotics, stronger bacteria thrive and cause nastier poisoning. You can die from many disease strains found in today's meat.
Is it? Not really
I don't think there's ever been wide spread famine in the USA, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.
Most food warehousing today uses a "just in time" inventory system, where as items are depleted off the supermarket shelf, replacements are programmed to be sent via long haul or region truck to that store. This has created cost savings in what would be valuable real estate and manpower to warehouse goods locally, especially in big cities and suburbs.
What would happen if terrorsits struck an area with a dirty bomb or a bioligical agent? Would the feds shut down access into or out of a metropolitan area to prevent spread of a contagious agent, say small pox? You bet they would!
How long would the food last in that area if the large scale regional warehouses couldn't be accessed? A week, maybe.
That old oatmeal might not be so bad in that case.
Is this scenario likely? No. But you should always be prepared. I know my family and I could survive on our own almost indefinetly, as we live on a farm. Food would surely get boring, but we could survive.
Hmmm. And here I thought that if the label said “best before 12/12/07, that it was perfectly good on 12/11/07, but spoilded on 12/13/07.
This headline writer needs a good slap.
He could have just used my kitchen cabinets.
Even my rotation schedule is out of date.
As long as it’s not furry it’s OK.
I’ve always wondered about that. When I was a kid in the 70’s we had some C-rations in the garage that were at least 20 years old that we ate. The ham and beans were quite tasty, but things like crackers were just terrible. They still had cigarettes in the accessory packs.
I have watermelon pickle in the fridge that the dead lady across the street made 3-4 years ago and hot pepper jelly that my mother made long before she died in 2001.
In fact, I could produce a meal entirely of dead people's food. I've got frozen trout that my neighbor caught, my dead neighbor, and I have a box of Nilla Wafers that we bought for my father-in-law who died in '93.
I pride myself on cooking meals from dented cans and "managers special" finds in produce and meat.
My only question is, where's the day old fish and dented beer?
There is a lot of info including food storage here-http://waltonfeed.com/sitemap.html
I would probably avoid a prophylactic that's older than me.
When I served in the Marines back in the early 1980s, I had C-rations that I’m pretty sure were canned back when Bing Crosby was still on the Hit Parade and Elvis was a truck-driver.
I believe that meat does not generally last that long. However many types of dried and canned foods in reality have nearly unlimited shelf lives. The dried foods last long times as long as they are kept dry, and are insect free. For many canned foods off tastes from the metal cans are more of an issue than spoilage, as long as the container is kept sealed.
I remember having some people freak after I told them that I had brought quart jars of apple sauce that was 15 years old. It still had vacuum, so it was good.
I store up every fall for the NY winter and buy sales the rest of the year. But there’s no 5 year old food in that cupboard.